Police impersonator pleads guilty to pulling over female motorists
BRENTWOOD — A Newmarket man received a time-served jail sentence for impersonating a police officer and pulling over women motorists in three Seacoast towns.
Michael Heath, 42, pleaded guilty to two counts of false personation on Monday in Rockingham County Superior Court as part of a negotiated plea deal with county prosecutors.
Heath received a largely suspended 12-month jail sentence, and was ordered to continue with mental health treatment. He spent 69 days in jail earlier this year that will count as a time-served sentence.
Assistant County Attorney Karen Springer told a judge on Monday that the local police departments deferred to her judgment with negotiating a sentence.
Heath used a badge and blue lights mounted in his 2005 Buick Century while stopping women driving in Stratham, Epping and Hampton.
Prosecutors went forward with two of the cases against him arising from Heath pulling over a woman in Stratham Aug. 29 and another woman in Hampton on Sept. 8.
A third victim from a Nov. 9, 2012 case in Epping told prosecutors that she thought Heath should have served the entire 12-month jail sentence.
“She had her 9-year-old son in car at the time,” Springer said in court. “She is concerned about his behavior … that it will continue to escalate.”
Court documents say that Heath admitted to police during a Sept. 13 interview that he stopped motorists in Newfields, Hampton Falls, Newington, Portsmouth, and along roadsides in Maine and Massachusetts, according to a police affidavit.
He was not charged in those cases. Stratham police searched Heath’s vehicle on Sept. 11 and found “several sexual items” including condoms and packets of lubrication, according to Gilroy.
“Mr. Heath acknowledged that he has been escalating his actions,” Hampton police Det. Christopher Gilroy said in a police report.
Judge N. William Delker said he believed mental health treatment for Heath will be the best way to protect the public. Heath will remain on probation for two years.
Delker warned Heath that if he violates the terms of his agreement, a probation officer will be allowed to jail him for up to seven days without a hearing. Prosecutors could also ask for a hearing to revoke his probation and impose some or all of a 3½- to 7-year prison sentence.